Book Review: Ivy’s Envy by Latashia Figueroa

***I received a free copy from the group Paranormal and Horror Lovers on Goodreads in exchange for an honest review***

Latashia Figueroa’s riveting Want & Decay Trilogy follows the entangled lives of three people tormented by lust, jealousy, madness and murder. In this first book, Ivy’s Envy, Ivy James has had a history of violence with the men she falls for. Her grandmother and parents know what Ivy is capable of when things don’t go her way. 

Now Ivy has become obsessed with Thomas Miles, a man who works at her office. She is certain that Thomas loves her too. But there are people who stand in the way of Ivy and Thomas finally being together, like his wife, Deana. Determined to have the love that is their destiny, Ivy will go down a very dark and twisted road to make Thomas hers, and hers alone. But Ivy is not the only one who has dark secrets, and everyone involved will soon learn that pursuing love and passion to the extreme can lead to terrifying consequences.

I enjoyed this suspenseful book full of obsession and betrayal. The book was a very fast read. I loved the foreshadowing of something terrible happening. Plus, it was a cool perspective, or point of view, of the crazy Ivy analyzing her actions and the consequences, especially the ending!

My favorite lines: 1) When he lifts the cloth there is blood, my blood… 2) I let it go. I had to…for my sake. 3) I close my eyes tight trying to force a memory, and all I can remember is Thomas. 4) The last few months of my life rush to mind bringing with it a bottomless pit of regret.

Did I already mention that Ivy was crazy? Because she was. Crazy and violent. There’s a mystery regarding Charlie, her first office romance with a married man. This backstory was so intriguing that I wish the story would have started there.

I feared for Thomas and his wife. Literally any small contact she had with Thomas led to Ivy believing they were soulmates. Her actions reminded me of a Lifetime Movie. When he sent her flowers and kissed her on the cheek, I stopped feeling sorry for him. My favorite scenes in the book were the office environment, so I wished there could have been more of that instead of her interactions with her grandma. It proved that her grandma was suspicious of Ivy, but I got that after their first encounter.

The author did an awesome job on setting and images/metaphors. For instance, “my saliva thickens like a bloody paste.” She described everything in the scene so that, as a reader, I could feel, see, and hear everything going on. Some scenes made me jump out of my seat from fright! Ivy was the master of torture and mind games.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Book Review: Trigger Finger by Jackson Spencer Bell

***I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review***

When two intruders break into his house one night bent on attacking his family, Kevin Swanson fights back–with deadly consequences. In the aftermath, he rockets from obscure lawyer to local hero overnight–a hero to everyone, that is, except for a strange man who calls in to a local talk radio show when Kevin appears as a guest. The caller, who won’t reveal his name, has a message: Kevin is no hero. And his story about what happened isn’t even close to accurate. Suddenly, Kevin finds himself thrust into the center of one violent crime after another, rising to the occasion and exceeding his wildest expectations each time. Strangely, though, none of his attackers carry any identification. And as his doubts drive him through his own investigation of what really happened that night, his crumbling reality sends him hurtling towards a face-to-face confrontation with the nameless caller-and the horrifying truth that won’t let him hide.

I loved this book! My favorite lines: 1) “He wants to show that I’m a pussy,” I said. “He wants to make me into a bitch.” 2) “No wonder Brandon persisted in delusional thinking. These people spent all day surrounded by absolute bullshit.” 3) “That’s no man, replied a voice in my head. This one didn’t belong to Bobby or Kate or Allie; I recognized this as my own. I think you know that.” 4) “Her voice had lowered to a whisper raspy and dry, like newspaper left in the desert sun.” 5) “…but I had woken up on the couch in the basement with my fully-loaded AK-47 clutched against my chest like some kind of fucked-up teddy bear.”

The author did a brilliant job with the main character’s voice. Kevin sounded like a local hero being harassed by a stalker. When readers get a glimpse into his therapy sessions, they realize there’s definitely something more to Kevin, whether he’s in denial or guilty of something. You’ll have to read the book to find out.

It was interesting that Kevin described his stalker as the Bald Man. Not only that, but he was also convinced that the Bald Man used golems (objects made of clay who come to life) to attack him.

I don’t want to give too much away; however, make sure to pay attention to what the palm reader, Rudy, says about Kevin and his brother Bobby. From the first page, I sat on the edge of my seat, captivated by the suspense and mystery surrounding Kevin’s family. Like him, I started to wonder if his wife and daughter lied about being attacked upstairs, so Kevin wouldn’t lose his sanity from the guilt of not reaching his family in time. 

The story ended with a great twist, and the scene of Kevin confronting Ruby gave me chills.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Join National Readathon Day!!!!

I can’t wait for Saturday, January 24th!!! It’s National Readathon Day! Millions of readers will have their heads buried in the pages of books from noon to 4 PM. We’ll be reading in the comfort of our own homes, at the library, in cafes, etc. etc. It’s a chance to connect with other readers (hashtag #timetoread on Twitter) if you choose to make it into a local or online event. National Readathon Day supports a great cause–the National Book Foundations Literacy Program.

On Saturday, I’ll be reading at Daily Grind in Martinsburg and hanging out with my writing buddy Audrey (if anyone would like to join us). On Goodreads, I’ve committed to Troy Scott’s In the Devil’s Dream. I love a good scare! If anyone wants to read the same book as me, we can tweet and discuss it later 🙂

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For all the readers out there, will you be joining National Readathon Day? If so, what book will you be reading?

Keep smiling,
Yawatta Hosby

Book Review: Forever In Hollywood By Jovana Rodolakis

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***I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review from the Making Connections group on Goodreads***

Fresh out of college, Marissa Pearson is ready to take on the world. That is, as long as the world isn’t confrontational. She never learned to deal with opposition, instead she runs from it. She ran from a violent boyfriend, a cheating husband, and now she’s on the run from Andrew Reed. He’s the sexy Hollywood playboy intent on nailing her down in more ways than one.

Long days on a movie set can bring people together. Soon Marissa finds herself falling for the wrong guy–again. When Marissa’s past catches up with her, in the form of a vengeful ex, she learns the price of running. But Andrew channels the heroes he plays on screen in order to give Marissa the strength to do the right thing.

Only when Marissa learns to face challenges thrown at her, will she also learn Andrew was the right guy all along.

I loved this book. It was written in Marissa’s first person point-of-view, so readers really get inside of her head to see what she’s thinking. I liked that she stuck up for her friend who was in an abusive relationship. Even though Marissa had a hard time standing up for herself, she remained strong for her friend.

Marissa was having problems with Dan, her cop husband. She didn’t trust him after he cheated, and he hated that she was planning on spending some time in Hollywood to work on a Revolutionary War movie. He was a prick and a coward! I hated him. She was new to the Hollywood scene but was able to make friends with the celebrities on set. I really liked her co-stars Billy (one of my favorite characters) and Andrew (he was so sweet).

My favorite lines: 1) “Pampers commercials don’t count.” I grumbled. 2) “How could two people who were once so right for each other, be so wrong together now?” 3) “So, I did what any respectable actress would do in my position, I lied.”

The author had a brilliant talent with dialogue and character’s voice. Every line sounded like a new actress, recently scorned, trying to adjust to her new life, while dealing with a creepy stalker–you’ll have to read the book to see this part because I don’t want to reveal any spoilers. I loved the sense of humor, as well as the suspense towards the end. Andrew can be my hero any day!

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Book Review: Thrill By Wendy Potocki

20361382***I received a free copy from the Making Connections group on Goodreads in exchange for an honest review***

SOME RIDES SHOULD NEVER BE TAKEN…

Kyle Evans is a teenager who wants to be somebody. To achieve his goal, he joins a gang called Hell’s Bells. While he thinks he’s arrived, he only finds danger.

The club is obsessed with finding thrills and taking chances, but Kyle’s unaware that there’s a price to pay. Up for a dare, he accepts a challenge that lands him on the wrong side of the supernatural.

I enjoyed this book. My favorite lines: 1) “As he looked outside, he saw that Stripe was standing like the last surviving soldier at a massacre.” 2) “Since when is stereotyping a compliment?” 3) “You! You killed me, boy…and all for a thrill. Well, now you’ll have to pay.” 4) “The shameful confession was over.”

Kyle, a.k.a. Surf, was in high school and was tired of being an outcast. He left his best friend, Gavin, behind to hang out with the Hell’s Bells gang. Gavin was a computer geek–he was my favorite character. He was the most mature and reasonable one out of everyone in the story. Plus, Gavin was okay with himself. And, he was loyal–he never gave up trying to be Surf’s friend again.

Wax was in charge of the Hell’s Bells. They acted like they were a brotherhood, always having each other’s backs. But, they were just bullies willing to turn on anyone who would try to leave the group. I feared for Surf’s safety because deep down he was a good kid, just lost. Those guys were just vicious.

The story really picked up after the “60” game. The rules–no matter what, don’t go below 60 MPH on the road. Well, Surf ended up accidentally killing an old man. The old man’s daughter happened to be a priestess. Voodoo is no joke! She got her revenge!

Since I’m scared of dogs, I was truly frightened during Stripe’s scenes because he threatened and attempted to maul Surf.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

For more information on the author or book:

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Book Review: Titus Drummond’s Dark Regret By James Lamb

20888892***I received a free copy from the Paranormal & Horror Lovers Group on Goodreads for an honest review***

Wrongly accused, but innocent of a crime, in the throes of a painful divorce and forced into a bartending job, accountant Frederick Tate is trying to claw his shattered life back together. Still haunted by a traumatic childhood incident and echoes of the past, a move to a bedsit within a sprawling Victorian villa promises a new start. But, as something unspeakable invades his home he discovers one person holds the key to his unfolding horror and a century old tragedy. Frederick’s worst possible nightmare is about to become a reality.

A delicious tale of revolting evil set in present day England.

I enjoyed this book. It started in the year of 1896 with Jim Quigley and Titus Drummond. They both stayed at the Grosvenor Villa. It was very suspicious that Titus wanted to cover a wall with bricks. As a reader, I was happy that I was right.

Flash forward to the year of 2013. Frederick now lives in Titus’s old apartment, and unexplainable events keeps happening around him. I jumped in my seat when he found a dead cat under his window.

Other than that, I didn’t really find the story scary. I enjoyed Frederick freaking out over everything–his ex wife accused him of cooking the books so he got fired. I liked how Kate didn’t bother to feed into Frederick’s conspiracy theories because perhaps he cried wolf too many times. It caused tension within the story. The book took a while to get to the action, but once it did, the story was well worth the read.

My favorite line: The mysterious hole stared back at him like a single, dead, soulless eye.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

For more information on the author or book:

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

 

Book Review: The Bayou Classic By Marcus Chatman

***I received a free copy in exchange for a review***

The Bayou Classic is a fictional story that describes the lives of a group of inner city kids and their journey from high school, college, and beyond. The story revolves around the girls Areille, Carissma, and Jasmine, three teenagers who are struggling to be good students while simultaneously dealing with the pressures that come along with living in the ghetto. You also have their male counterparts Derek, Bingo, Skeeter, and Stepper. With Bingo being the fearless rebel in the crew, theirs never a dull moment. With Skeeter being the savvy street smart hustler theres never a sure thing, it’s always a gamble. With Stepper being the suave playboy in he crew its always interesting to watch him juggle his many women. Lastly theres Derek, the level headed, hard worker who is struggling to find his way through life without getting into any trouble. Like life, trouble eventually finds its way into the mix and effects the entire group. They eventually find themselves banding together to help each other get through. This story is sure to captivate the reader and draw you into the lives of each individual character. This story is not written from a spectators point of view, but the characters themselves narrate the events that take place, which will effectively connect each reader to the characters in the story. There is also another very interesting twist to this story. This entire story is written in poetry form, meaning the entire story rhymes. So the entire novel is basically a poem. Each page has its own individual character, each page is its very own entity. If you love drama, romance, comedy, action, and suspense, then you’ve definitely pick the perfect story.

18069073I liked this book. The introduction was an overview of the hood as a poem, which was nicely rhymed. I have mad respect for the author. He managed to make the entire story sound like freestyle at a poetry reading. Not only did everything rhyme, but he managed to create colorful personalities and a plot to keep the story going.

The Bayou Classic followed Derek, Bingo, Skeeter, Stepper, Areille, Carissma, and Jasmine through their high school, college, and young adult years. Some graduated. Some ended up in jail. Some were in the drug business. And some manged to create successful businesses for themselves. I love drama, so my favorite sections involved Derek and Areille’s breakup.

Just to give you an idea how the rhythm flowed, here’s my favorite passages from the poem:

1) We could just help them take baby steps, start over as friends, sometimes when you think a story is about to end, it actually begins.

2) I’m already in love with one psycho. I certainly don’t need another.

3) You two have plenty of time to grow, so be careful how you touch, I know I said I like her, but I don’t like her that much!

4) That’s my future baby mama, she keeps me focused and balanced, my girl ain’t mean, she’s just socially challenged.

5) They were looking dead serious, like they was going through a crisis, how these n***** buying cars, and can’t even get a license?

Towards the end, the poem stalled for me–it seemed like everything was happy happy joy joy, especially when they were adults getting married. I wish there could have been some tension or conflict somewhere to balance out all that happiness. Plus, I didn’t like seeing the N-word. It seemed like the male characters used that a lot as a term of endearment. Like I said before, I really love drama, so the beginning really kept my attention when people’s parents were ending up in jail, the heart ache, etc.

If you love poems, I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby